ERIC Number: ED428925
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Sm'algyax Language Renewal: Prospects and Options.
Rubin, Daniel S.
School District 52 (Prince Rupert, British Columbia) is committed to providing support for the renewal of Sm'algyax, the language of the Tsimshian Nation. However, the Tsimshian Nation must provide guidance and establish a positive direction for Sm'algyax language programs. This paper examines language renewal issues and options as a basis for decision making by the Tsimshian Nation about language teaching and usage. Sections of background information cover: (1) the current state of Sm'algyax (precarious, with mostly elderly speakers); (2) differentiation between processes of language learning and language acquisition; (3) five possible levels of language fluency; (4) the need for a family and community component of language learning; (5) the need to incorporate traditional oral literature that embodies the Tsimshian world view into language programs; and (6) the need to create a Sm'algyax Language Authority to make language policy and provide ongoing support for language renewal. An Internet search and communication with other educators yielded examples of effective language learning programs in indigenous communities in North America, Australia, and Pacific Islands. Practices in these programs included use of print-based materials, teacher-centered instruction, media-based instruction, computer-assisted instruction, Internet resources and hypertext, learner-controlled instruction, experiential approaches, cultural immersion, linguistic immersion, and mentorship or master-apprentice models. Recommendations and recent Tsimshian program developments are discussed. (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Canada Natives, Educational Needs, Educational Practices, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Language Maintenance, Native Language Instruction, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Methods
Web site: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/RIL_Contents.html
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada